With my Health Coordinator’s hat on, I am delighted with the following press release from the Kennel Club.
At the request of the Keeshond Breed Clubs, the Kennel Club has approved the official DNA testing scheme for Primary Hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) offered by Cornell University in America and more information can be obtained direct from them at http://www.vet.cornell.edu/labs/goldstein/.
As copies of test results cannot be sent directly to the Kennel Club by the laboratory, the owner of a dog is required to submit a copy of their dog’s result if they wish the KC to record the DNA status.
Once the test result has been added to the dog’s details on the registration database, it will trigger the publication of the test result in the next available Breed Records Supplement, and the result will also appear on any new registration certificate issued for the dog and on the registration certificates of any future progeny of the dog. The result for each individual dog will also be available to view on the Kennel Club’s Dog Health Test Search tool and also the collective results for all those received will be found at The Kennel Club.
When submitting a copy of the DNA certificate, if the owner includes the original (not a copy) registration certificate for the dog, a new registration certificate will be issued with the DNA result on it, free of charge. Owners who have dogs which are classed as hereditarily clear (negative by descent) can also have their dog’s registration certificate updated free of charge providing that they too send in the original registration certificate. Please note that a hereditarily clear status can only be updated providing the results for both parents are already recorded.
Please send the DNA test certificates and registration certificates to the Health & Breeder Services Department, The Kennel Club, 1 – 5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB. Alternatively test certificates can be faxed to 0207 518 1028 or emailed to Gary Johnson at email@example.com.
All you need to do is to send a copy of your dog/s test certificate/s to the KC; if you want your dog/s registration form/s amending then send the original in at the same time. It will just cost you the price of a stamp. This will make life so much easier once all our tested dogs are on the KC’s data base. The clubs open registers are becoming somewhat unwieldy; as the majority of dogs registered now are negative by descent, quite often for several generations. So please send a copy of your dog/s certificate/s off as until all the tested dogs are on the data base, the negative by descents can’t be issued. These are produced automatically; as gene negative tested sires & dams are recorded, all their progeny will be listed as negative by descent (hereditarily clear) and their progeny too. This also applies to our dogs that are no longer with us; if they were tested & bred from; their certificates also need to be sent to the KC.
For those of you that have a dog from abroad it is slightly more complicated as the KC needs written permission (and a copy of the test certificate) from the person who actually owned the dog at the time of testing.
If are still unsure of what to do or you have any queries, you can contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions
So what do you do if your Keeshond hasn’t been tested? First of all – don’t panic! It would be nice to think that eventually all breeders will put their dogs’ status on this open register; so you could look up your dog’s sire and dam or even grand parents. Until that happens though, if you wish to know, you can either contact the breeder of your Keeshond, ask if the parents have been tested and what the results are or you can have him/her tested yourself.
A gene negative dog mated to a gene negative bitch will produce puppies that are gene negative by descent.
A gene negative by descent dog mated to a gene negative by descent bitch will produce puppies that are also gene negative by descent.
There is no carrier status. A dog is either negative or positive for the affected gene.
It only takes one copy of the defective gene to pass the disease on to the offspring.
A gene positive dog mated to a gene negative bitch (or vice versa) will produce a litter which could contain puppies that are all gene negative, puppies that are all gene positive or a mixture of both gene negative and positive puppies. There is no way of predetermining the outcome; it is all in the luck of the draw. The status of any puppies from such a mating can only be determined by testing for the defective gene. In the long term if you were to repeat the above mating until you had produced 100 puppies or more, statistically, 50% of the offspring will have one copy of the defective gene and 50% will not.
A gene positive dog mated to a gene positive bitch will produce a litter in which statistically, if 100 puppies were born, 50% of the offspring will have one copy of the defective gene (gene positive), 25% will have two copies of the normal gene (gene negative) and 25% will have two copies of the defective PHPT gene. Based on research, it appears that embryos in this last group with two copies of the defective gene may actually not survive in utero, resulting in smaller litter sizes for this type of breeding. This means that, like the example above, the litter could contain puppies that are all gene negative, puppies that are all gene positive or a mixture of both gene negative and positive puppies. There is no way of predetermining the outcome, the status of any puppies from such a mating can only be determined by testing for the defective gene. Again, it is all in the luck of the draw.
If, for example, a bitch is gene negative (either tested or by descent) and two of her offspring have been tested gene negative; it doesn’t automatically mean that the sire is gene negative, unless he has been tested or is negative by descent. If for any reason the sire hasn’t been tested and the status of the bitch is known (or vice versa) then the puppies from that mating will have to be tested.
If you are unlucky enough to have a Keeshond that has tested gene positive, this gives you an unprecedented opportunity to use this knowledge to give him/her the best care possible. Begin to monitor the calcium level on a regular schedule, preferably once a year starting around the age of four, so that you may catch the disease in its earliest stages, before potential complications occur. You have time to plan ahead and seek out qualified, skilled care in advance. PHPT affects older Keeshonden with what is known as ‘age dependent penetrance.’ This means that the test does not identify clinical disease at the time of testing; it indicates the presence of the defective gene, or the genetic potential to develop the disease later in life. The vast majority of Keeshonden with the defective gene will develop PHPT if they live long enough, although they could die earlier from another cause, for example cancer.